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Changes to DARE 2023: Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD)

DARE has changed its eligibility criteria for Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD) for entry-2023 onwards to make the scheme even more inclusive.

These changes are based on the recommendations of the DARE SpLD (NEPS model integration) Working Group. This working Group consisted of Psychologists with expertise in the area of SpLD, and of representatives of DARE HEAR, the CAO, and the participating Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). The Working Group was formed with the goal of revising the SpLD criteria with a specific focus on how new model of identification and support of students within NEPS might impact on DARE applications into the future.

The following 3 changes were ratified by the Access Steering Group for HEIs on 19 May 2022.

Change 1: DARE has disaggregated the SpLD category and created two new expanded categories in its place:

        i.            Dyslexia / Significant Literacy Difficulties

       ii.            Dyscalculia / Significant Numeracy Difficulties

Change 2: There are now two ways in which applicants with Dyslexia / Significant Literacy Difficulties can apply to DARE

Applicants who have Dyslexia or Significant Literacy Difficulties will be assessed on the basis of evidence submitted with the DARE Application. Evidence for two categories of applicant are acceptable.

A: Applicants who have a Psychological Assessment Report identifying Dyslexia (read screening criteria A)

B: Applicants who have Significant Literacy Difficulties but do NOT have a Psychological Assessment Report identifying Dyslexia (read screening criteria B)

Click here for full details of these criteria.

Change 3: Dyscalculia / Significant Numeracy Difficulties

The Working Group recommends one small change to the DARE criteria for Dyscalculia. In addition to a Psychological Assessment Report of any age completed by a psychologist which clearly states a diagnosis of dyscalculia, applicants MUST also have only one (previously two) numeracy attainment scores at or below the 10th percentile (Standard Score of 81 or below) carried out on or after 1 February 2022

Full details of this change are available here.

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HEAR Application Information Session 2024

This session includes a general presentation on HEAR and how to apply to it, as well as a Questions and Answers session on how to make a successful application. It will also provide an opportunity for you and/or your parent(s)/ guardian(s) to meet members of the HEAR team online and find out how the scheme works.